Captain Al Maurer – Funding Future KSU Pilots

 

If you’re a Kent State alumnus making a living as an aviator, it may be thanks to people like Al Maurer and his mentor, Dick Schwabe, who created endowed flight scholarships.

Al Maurer caught the flying bug when he was in the Army.  When he came back to Kent State to finish his bachelor’s degree, he changed his major to aerospace technology. It’s also when he met one of the college’s most respected instructors, Dick Schwabe, affectionately known as Schwa-bee to his students.

“Dick Schwabe was one of the most memorable professors and examiners I ever had,”Maurer says. “He made a lasting impression on a lot of us. I owe a lot of my career and flight skills to Dick. He taught us how to be good, safety-oriented aviators, with high levels of skill. He didn’t cut us any slack. There’s a lot of us in the industry right now who have a lot to be thankful for due to Dick.”

Three former students worked with Schwabe to establish the Richard F. “Dick” Schwabe Endowed Scholarship in 2006: Maurer, Mike Keller (currently flying in China ) and Roger Quinn (a chief pilot for UPS).

“It was an honor for the three of us to help Dick get his wishes down on paper for his scholarship before he passed away,” Maurer says. “He would be very honored to know that his fund is helping future aviators.”

Maurer began a career at Parker Hannifin in 1986, starting out as a chief pilot and eventually retiring as the director of flight operations. At that time, he and his wife, Terri, decided to create their own scholarship for pilot training. The Maurers are believers in the “time, talents and treasure” theory of giving back. They followed the example set by Dick Schwabe, and in 2005, established the Allen L. and Terri L. Maurer Endowed Scholarship Fund for Flight Training.

“We wanted to help those who might be struggling financially but who had excellent capabilities to be an pilot,” Maurer said. “It would be a real shame if they couldn’t get there because finances weren’t available. Flight training is very expensive – you need good quality airplanes, maintenance and instruction in order to produce really good aviators. That’s a whole legacy going back to Dick – he wanted to have the best possible pilots coming out of the program. The only thing Terri and I are trying to do is assist in that. We wanted to add to that scholarship capability for pilot training.”

If you’d like to contribute to either the Schwabe or Maurer funds to help support pilot flight training, you can give here. To set up your own fund, contact Karen Romas at kromas@kent.edu or call 330-672-8754.